Gloucestershire charity introduces new initiative for people with young onset dementia

Gloucestershire-based charity, Lilian Faithfull Care, is adapting and expanding its dementia care services in the county, introducing a new initiative to help support people with young onset dementia.

By Kaleigh Pritchard  |  Published

Gloucestershire elderly care charity, Lilian Faithfull Care, has launched a new group for people with young onset dementia at its Secret Garden Hub in Cheltenham.

The Secret Garden Hub offers a peaceful location for people living with dementia to spend the day, with its new group aimed specifically at younger people, supporting those typically aged 40 to 65-years-old.

Days are full of opportunities to have fun and connect with other people experiencing and adapting to similar symptoms, with a variety of activities, entertainment, trips out and food on offer.

Manager of the Secret Garden Hub, Mark Norris, created the the new group and said: 'We started our younger group after we had a phone call from a relative asking for help for their loved one who was diagnosed with dementia in her late 50’s.

'He said that there was nowhere for her to go and be with other people her own age. This was when the Secret Garden Young Onset Group was born — a place for her and others living with dementia at a younger age to come and be themselves.'

'We now have several guests who are young, or still very young at heart come, who have a fab time hanging out with newly made friends at our Hub. They enjoy activities from quizzes, gardening, crafts, dancing and listening to live music and visiting local coffee shops.'

Lilian Faithfull Care offers a range of expert dementia care services across its day hubs and residential care homes, looking after 'remarkable people living with dementia', at every stage of their journey.

Roger Morris is 80 and visits the hub twice a week. The former rugby player for Northampton — who even completed a trial for the England team — said: 'Dementia is a horrible thing to have as you don’t trust yourself.

'You don’t know if you are thinking correctly. I have to write lots of notes, things like that, to lead a fairly normal life. I come to the hub to meet people, because I lost all my confidence and I hardly dare go out on my own. It’s a peculiar thing really as I used to be very sociable.

'Coming here, it’s the camaraderie, chatting and talking to people which is the most important thing.'

Two of Lilian Faithfull's residential homes have specialist dementia care suites: the Bluebell Suite at Faithfull House and the Dragonfly and Butterfly Suites at Royal Court.

The suites include a family-sized lounge and dining room, as well as a separate bedroom, offering familiarity and peace of mind to those who might feel lost or overwhelmed in a larger home environment.

Kate Mackman's mother was cared for at the Bluebell Suite and she explained the benefits: 'Bringing them into a setting like this means that you can go back to being a son or daughter. You can visit, have coffee, tea and cake, take them out and enjoy those moments.'

Lilian Faithfull's experienced staff team really understand dementia, often personally as well as professionally — and they receive dementia training right from the induction stage.

There are teams of dementia care leads and dementia link workers at Lilian Faithfull, who stay up-to-date with the latest dementia training and continually share this knowledge to the rest of the team.

Lilian Faithfull Care welcomes families who have loved ones living with dementia to pop in for a cup of tea and a chat, with its dementia care experts offering advice and practical tips.

To find out more, visit

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